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Why a surge in imports from China may not be bad for India

India aims to become global manufacturing hub

India’s economic managers are not worried about the surge in imports from China – in the January-September period of this year, inbound shipment from Beijing soared to $89.66 billion. They have attributed the rise in imports from China to an increase in domestic economic activities driven by the multi trillion dollar PM Gati Shakti infrastructure project and the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme The key items that have been imported comprise machinery and intermediate goods, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), fertiliser among others.

“The rise in imports may not be a bad thing. With the rise in the economic activities in India, the demand for industrial goods has shot up,” an insider said, adding that the industrial items are critical to boost Atmanirbhar Bharat plank.

As India resets its focus on economic growth, it is going all out to expand foreign direct investment. A host of multinational companies are now eyeing to set up manufacturing facilities or expand their existing capacities. “The demand for machineries and other industrial products is bound to rise exponentially..we will not do anything to keep these companies starved for any key ingredients,” the person said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who inaugurated a host of manufacturing facilities in the last few months, said that India is moving towards becoming the world’s largest manufacturing hub, which would need to seamless supply chain management.

“The world is overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Several disruptions occurred in the global supply chain because of the COVID and Ukraine crises. We want to transform India into a manufacturing hub,” Modi said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Samarkand.

Modi will launch the manufacturing facility for C295 transport aircraft which will be developed by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) along with Airbus. This will replace the Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force. Last month, Foxxcon started manufacturing Apple’s iPhone 14 models in India.

“The new iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking new technologies and important safety capabilities. We’re excited to be manufacturing iPhone 14 in India,” the company said in a statement.

In March, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced an investment plan of Rs 3,20,000 crore (5 trillion yen) in the next five years. Subsequently, in May, Modi, who was in Japan to attend the QUAD summit, also held a meeting with top 30 CEOs of Japanese companies urging them to “Make in India for the World”.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade between India and China crossed $100 billion for the second year in a row. However, trade deficit too rose to over $75 billion.

Also read: Gati Shakti Master Plan—a tribute to PM Modi’s vision  for a New India on his 72nd Birthday